North Korea’s Failed Satellite Launch: The Setback, Repercussions, and Fallout
North Korea has been actively attempting to put its military satellite into space to boost its military capabilities. Unfortunately, the country faced a significant setback in May 2023, when its first spy satellite launch ended in failure. The failed launch has led to a lot of public confusion, jitters, and safety concerns in neighboring South Korea and Japan, who are wary of North Korea’s growing weapons arsenal. This article will explore the details of North Korea’s failed satellite launch, the repercussions of the launch, and the fallout.
On May 31, 2023, North Korea launched its first military reconnaissance satellite. The launch was a part of the country’s push to acquire a space-based surveillance system to better monitor the United States and South Korea. However, the rocket carrying the satellite crashed soon after liftoff.
The initial report stated that the rocket failed “after losing thrust due to the abnormal starting of the second-stage engine.” The party made the assessment of its May 31 launch at a three-day meeting that ended on Sunday. The Workers’ Party of Korea criticized the officials who conducted the preparations for the failed launch, saying that they were “bitterly criticized.”
The failed launch and North Korea’s efforts to modernize its weapons arsenal were discussed extensively by the ruling party at the meeting. The party considered this failure as the “most serious” shortcoming this year and vowed to push for a second attempt to launch a spy satellite.
South Korea and Japan
Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, sent text messages to all mobile phones urging people to move to safer places 14 minutes after the launch. The Interior and Safety Ministry later sent messages to Seoul residents saying that the earlier warning was sent in error. The South Korean military said that it asks the safety ministry to send such phone alerts only when North Korean rockets fly in the direction of South Korean territory or falling debris is expected. However, it is extremely rare for South Korea to issue such missile alerts. Japan, on the other hand, activated a missile warning system, thinking that the missile might reach Okinawa.
The North’s state media said the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee also discussed bolstering nuclear capabilities and stepping up production of nuclear weapons.
The party also discussed ensuring sufficient food supplies. South Korea recently said the food situation in the North, which has in the past suffered famines, “seemed to have deteriorated.”
Lack of Confidence
The absence of a report of a speech by Kim and the blaming of officials for the failure of the launch could indicate a loss of confidence, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.
Kim Yong Chol
Kim Yong Chol, a top official who was believed to have been sidelined after a 2019 summit with the U.S. ended in failure, has been named as an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee.
The failed satellite launch has caused a lot of public confusion, safety concerns, and jitters in neighboring countries. North Korea has vowed to push for a second attempt to launch a spy satellite, while also discussing bolstering its nuclear capabilities and ensuring sufficient food supplies. The lack of confidence and the blaming of officials for the failure of the launch may indicate some internal unrest in the country.
Q1: Why did North Korea launch a spy satellite?
A1: North Korea launched a spy satellite to boost its military capabilities and better monitor the US and South Korea
Q2: When did the launch happen?
A2: The launch happened on May 31, 2023
Q3: Why did South Korea issue missile alerts?
A3: South Korea issued missile alerts due to the launch of North Korea’s military reconnaissance satellite
Q4: Has North Korea attempted another launch after the failed launch?
A4: No, North Korea hasn’t attempted another launch after the failed launch
Q5: What are the concerns of South Korea and Japan?
A5: South Korea and Japan are concerned about North Korea’s growing weapons arsenal and the threat it poses to their countries